Thanks for the support and positive vibes over the weekend. Unfortunately neither Beth or I placed amongst the 115 pies. Competition was it at it stiffest. Nevertheless I got to serve and sell my pies slices during the event , and both sold like hotcakes. The feedback was good from the public, so I'm calling my pies a winner. Beth and I concluded that they really wanted the more traditional pies, although the judging process seems weird to me. Oh well, onto the next thing.
A highlight of my day was tagging along to the Bucktown Farmers Market with Beth. I get organic delivery boxes and really don't have the time to make weekday Farmers Markets downtown during work hours. Green City Market in Lincoln Park just isn't convenient to get to on Saturdays with my schedule. I love Bucktown, a funky edgier neighborhood in Chicago full of great Boutiques and restaurants. The Bucktown Farmers market , while, small didn't disappoint. After getting bombarded for several signature and petition requests form local politicos, we made our way through. The root vegetables were so lovely, I wish I could have purchased it all. I settled on some wide and fat Cipolini onions, beautiful reddish baby carrots, celeriac root, miniature peppers, fingerling shaped sweet potatoes.and pretzel bread. The hues of nature were spellbinding and this market had a wonderful array of offerings.
I was thinking of roasting the Cipolini's in a balsamic glaze and making a tart with my puff pastry pie tarts. But Certain Someone was home and and an Autumn chill called for something more substantial. Immediately I thought of Hungarian Goulash. Both Certain Someone and I love Hungary, only we have never actually travelled there together. This summer he spent time there on business and brought me back precious bottles of Tokaj and foie grass. What we both noticed is authentic Goulash is more of a soup than stew with potatoes. Certain Someone and I are more inclined to a stew based dish with noodles. I decided to make Spazlte or little dumplings to add to our dish. I used my Culinaria Hungary book as guide. Goulash should never be thicken with flour. So I did not dredge my neat in flour before browning. Certain Someone mother uses a combination of pork and beef, I just used beef. So I guess it's not really authentic with the Spaeztle and no potatoes, but just as good.Long slow cooking and plenty of paprika and some tomato paste ensure a thickened stew.It's no wonder this simple dish created by herdsmen in a kettle has become an International favorite of all. It even tastes better the next day when the flavors meld more.
* Note ,I used what I had on hand, Feel free to add other root vegetables like turnips, celery,or bell peppers, etc to this.
1-2 lbs beef cubes
2 large onions , cut into cubes, or whole peeled Cipolini's( about 4 )
2-3 cloves garlic
1 bunch baby carrots or 2-3 large carrots( peeled and cut into cubes, leave baby carrots whole)
1 cup mushrooms quartered
1/4 cup sweet paprika
salt and pepper
1 can tomato paste
In a large Dutch Oven , brown the beef which was been wiped of moisture m in a few tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add the onions to the browning beef. Once the the meet and onions start to brown and caramelize, add the mushrooms, garlic, carrots. Cover with the 1/4 cup of Sweet Paprika, salt and pepper to taste. Add about 7-8 cups of water and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 1 hour. About halfway through check consistency and add the tomato paste. Cover and continue cooking. Remove from heat and let stand.
1 3/4 cups flour ( 250 grams)
3 eggs beaten
2/3 cup water ( 1/8 liter)
Water for boiling( approx 2 liters)
Boil your water in a pot.In a bowl place your flour. Add beaten egg,water, salt, and nutmeg. Mix thoroughly ( I used a whisk). Take a large holed colander and place a little mixture in at at time. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon run the mixture back and forth across the hole until it drops in the boiling water. The spaetzle dumplings will rise to the top of the water when done. Remove with a slotted spoon. Toss with butter and season with salt and pepper to taste.